PR for People Monthly JANUARY 2016 - Page 8

We asked Mich how she initially chose her career path. “My father was a surgeon and wanted me to go into medicine. All I wanted was to be outdoors, with animals. Being a farmer wasn’t good enough for him, so we silently compromised on my being a large animal veterinarianpassion for medicine (my father was a surgeon), for animals and for the outdoors came together fortuitously in the study of large animal veterinary medicine. I feel lucky and professionally fulfilled.”

“My greatest joy is finding a health solution that works for both the horse and it’shis owner. An Olympic rider referred a horse to me that had been persistently lame for a year. Vets were stumped and even Cornell Veterinary couldn’t find and remediate the cause. They had all been looking at the fetlock leg and the cannon bone. I felt that they had not sufficiently ruled out the foot with their diagnosticsit was a simpler solution, so I obtained permission from the owner to do invasivea surgery on the hoof. I found a hidden tumor that no x-ray had turned up, and excised it. Four weeks later the horse was sound, and is now eventing. The owner/rider was thrilled and the horse was relieved.”

When asked about challenges, Mich admitted, “There are two major catastrophic events that you can’t fix – a leg fracture and a bad case of colic. Those are the tragedies. On the other difficult end of the spectrum, you have an old horse whoo has stopped eating, and hhas no quality of life, and you askdiscusssay, if well, this is that horse’shis time. I don’t take euthanasia lightly, but there’s a common sense you canshould use here, and we’re not doing that with humans.”

Finally, we asked Mich about the future of equine medicine. “It’s getting more high-tech, which is exciting, just like healthcare for humans. I’m hoping that the veterinary medicinepractice maintains a thoughtful approach regarding the lengths to which an owner should go to treat different medical conditions and balance the good from technology with the practicalkeep a horse alive at any cost.” Sometimes mMother nNature heals with time, not medicine.”

We interviewed Michelle “Mich” Ferraro, VMDDVM, a veterinarian and senior staff member of Millbrook Equine, a top-rated ambulatory practice serving the counties of Dutchess NY and Litchfield CT

Columbia counties in New York state.

HORSE

HEALTH

By Sally Haver